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Rashad Jennings -- 10 things to know about the 'Dancing with the Stars' finalist


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/23/2017 

Rashad Jennings probably surprised himself on Dancing with the Stars by making it to the Season 24 finals.  

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Rashad, who is partnered with pro dancer Emma Slater on Dancing with the Stars, is a 32-year-old running back who is currently a free agent in the NFL.

The athlete proved from the get-go he has natural dance ability, and you can't really teach someone to have an excellent stage presence, but Rashad has it. He also won fans' hearts on Dancing with the Stars with his bright personality as well as the emotional story of his life's struggles and achievements. 

Will Rashad win the mirrorball trophy? It will be interesting to see what Rashad brings to the table during Dancing with the Stars' final round of dancing.

Below is a list of 10 facts Reality TV World has compiled about Rashad Jennings:

- The 6'1" athlete was born on March 26, 1985 in Forest, Virginia.

- He is the founder of the Rashad Jennings Foundation and is dedicated to inspiring youth by making education fun, providing mentorship for individual success, and promoting health and fitness.

- Rashad has admitted he was bullied as a teen, describing himself as a "chubby kid with asthma and glasses" as well as a 0.6 GPA in school.

He came to find out, however, that he had a learning disability.

- At age 13, Rashad was hospitalized for a week and told by doctors he couldn't own a dog, run or be around cigarettes due to his lungs. He said he was on his death bed but overcame the odds by working towards his big dream of playing pro football.

- The Dancing with the Stars contestant was mentored in football by his two older brothers. They coached his private high school team at Lynchburg Christian Academy for free in order for Rashad to attend the school.

- He tends to master any skill he attempts, including playing guitar, archery and poetry. He takes up a different hobby every offseason of football, and this year, he chose dance over learning a foreign language. 

- Rashad began his college career at University of Pittsburgh in 2005 but then transferred to Liberty in Spring 2006.

He left Pittsburgh after only one season as a starting freshman in order to be closer to home and his father, who was diagnosed with diabetes and had both of his legs amputated.

- Rashad never drank alcohol or smoked a day in his life to make a strong statement to his father, who struggled with alcoholism. 

- The athlete was drafted in 2009 in the seventh round by the Jacksonville Jaguars -- where he spent four seasons -- was signed by the Oakland Radars in 2013 for one season, and signed a four-year contract with the New York Giants in 2014.

- Rashad had his breakout season during the 2015 NFL season. He started every game at running back for the Giants and set career highs in carries, rushing yards, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Want to see more Rashad Jennings photos? Click here to see our Rashad Jennings photo gallery.



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